Archive for » September, 2017 «

5 things to do under $5: Clearwater Super Boat races, stargazing, Hispanic Heritage Month festivals

1Super Boat National Championship and Festival: Some of the world’s fastest powerboats will be racing along the shore of Clearwater Beach, but first there’s a Super Boat Parade with a block party on Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater 5:30-10 p.m. Friday. Saturday brings a daylong seafood festival in Coachman Park, where you can see the boats and meet the drivers from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Over at Clearwater Beach, there will be a Sunset Festival and fireworks 6-9 p.m. Saturday. Sunday is race day, starting at 10 a.m. off Pier 60. Free for spectators, $100 VIP.

2Stargazing in the Park: The Pasco Astronomers group will provide telescopes for viewing deep sky objects or you can bring your own. 8:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., New Port Richey. Free.

3Feed the Critters Food Truck Rally: Two-legged critters will be getting the grub from food trucks at McGough Nature Park in Largo on Saturday, but sales benefit the care of animals. Buy a raffle ticket, get some eats, then walk the trails, meet tortoises and birds of prey. 11 a.m. Saturday, 11901 146th St. N, Largo. Free (food/drink additional).

4Hispanic Heritage Month: There are two family friendly festivals to choose from Sunday, both free. Viva Tampa Bay in Ybor City’s Centennial Park will celebrate with a family art and cultural festival 11 a.m.-6 p.m. with performances by salsa singer Charlie Cruz and Plena Mar Latino. 1800 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. Over at the Florida State Fairgrounds, the annual Feria de la Familia, or Family Fair, has Hispanic food, music by Alina Izquierdo, Franser Pazos and Aramis and Sol Caribe Voice; kids activities; and meet and greets with area celebrities from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $6 parking at 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa.

5I, Daniel Blake: This week’s film in the Eckerd College International Cinema Series won British filmmaker Ken Loach the top prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and sparked demonstrations and political campaigns in Britain. When a heart attack leaves him unable to work, and the state welfare system is unable to help him, the stubborn and self-reliant Daniel Blake stands up to fight for his dignity. 7 p.m. Friday. Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Free.

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Kids Fishing Derby rescheduled for Oct. 15

The 20th-annual Keys Kids Fishing Derby has been rescheduled for Sunday Oct. 15 at the Lorelei for anglers ages 10 and under. There is no charge to enter but anglers must be Monroe County residents.

There are three fishing divisions: Shoreline, Backcountry and Offshore and awards for three age divisions, 4 and under, 5-7 and 8-10. There are lots of prizes with winners in all divisions. Sign up early as the first 100 registered anglers are guaranteed ditty bags. Sign up at Tackle Center of Islamorada at mile marker 81.9, Caribee Boat Sales at mile marker 81.5, at the Lorelei at 96 Madeira Road or by email at, or you can find the application on Facebook “Keys Kids Fishing Derby”

Shoreline fishing will be allowed at the Lorelei with waters chummed by Tackle Center of Islamorada. Bait for shoreline anglers will be supplied and there will be plenty of folks on hand to help bait hooks and tie lines, organizers say. Each angler will receive a fishing rod

Pick up your ditty bag and free donuts thanks to Mangrove Mike’s any time after 7 a.m. Lines are in at 9 a.m. and weigh in closes promptly at 1 p.m. Hot dogs and sodas will be supplied compliments of Lorelei with donations going to support the Coral Shores High School cheerleaders. There will be a casting contest starting at 10 .m. Awards and other prizes will be handed out to the winners on the Lorelei beach at 2 p.m. Donation checks can be made out to the Islamorada Charter Boat Association and mailed to P.O. Box 462, Islamorada, FL 33036. To donate items, or for more information, call Dianne Harbaugh (305) 522-4868.

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China’s yacht manufacturers look abroad to fill gap in sales

Within a vast and humid hangar in southern China, workers in blue overalls, face masks and straw hats scale the hull of a 108ft superyacht that will soon be completed. The factory once catered for local demand but many boats made here are now bound for Australia, Thailand or Europe.

The drive for exports by Heysea, one of China’s largest yachtmakers, is a sign of how companies are adapting to a downturn in China’s domestic yacht market, once seen as a great prospect for the global industry.

“The domestic market is not good,” says Allen Leng, Heysea’s chairman. “We are going overseas because of a lack of certainty in the Chinese market.”

The company sold about 20 super-yachts in 2012, the height of a yachting frenzy when international boatbuilders and brokers flocked to China for lavish shows where thousands of vessels were sold to a growing business elite.

At about the same time, two Chinese companies acquired European yachtmakers Ferretti and Sunseeker, which were both in trouble following the global financial crisis. The year after, according to Chinese media reports, the domestic industry had sales of Rmb4.15bn ($630m).

But the market was driven by companies snapping up boats to act as venues to host wealthy clients and government officials. A culture of private yachting failed to emerge.

That made the sector an obvious target for the crackdown on corruption championed by President Xi Jinping.

Legitimate corporate clients still exist — Heysea was planning to host potential buyers from property group Evergrande when the Financial Times visited — but they have shrunk dramatically. Several Chinese yachtmakers went bankrupt in the downturn, according to Mr Leng. Now sales are a quarter of what they were at the peak and the company expects to sell five superyachts this year.

“It was like a high-speed train that stops because, eventually, it has to stop,” says Delphine Lignières, co-founder of Hainan Rendez-Vous, a leading Chinese boat show.

Some of China’s largest boat makers, such as Sunbird, have switched to building tourist boats or coastguard ships, which are used to assert China’s contested territorial claims in the South and East China seas. Heysea says it is selling more vessels in other Asian and Pacific markets — including one to an Australian client who wanted pole-dancing equipment aboard. “It seemed a little lowbrow,” says Mr Leng.

There are signs the domestic market is beginning to recover. A tech boom centred around the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has created a market, he says. “Now our clients are more diverse and the proportion of genuine yachting enthusiasts has increased . . . but the overall number is still small.”

The Moana 65 at the Da Peng Yacht Club. © Berton Chang for the FT

The same market is being chased by start-up Moana Yachts, which has been battling the industry downturn. Its co-founder Chris Wang, who studied boat design in New Zealand, strides across the deck of one of the company’s catamarans, sold for about $1m at a private marina near Shenzhen. “A lot of companies went bankrupt. But that was a chance for us,” he says.

The company has sold several boats this year to customers working mainly in finance and technology. “There is a change from companies to individuals who want to take family holidays,” he adds. The catamaran features a karaoke system, generally seen as a must-have for Chinese customers.

At the height of China’s yachting boom, “the [buyers] didn’t care about cost, they just wanted face. They would pay three times over the market price for foreign brands. It was highly irrational,” says Moana Yachts’ fellow co-founder Huang Jun.

Looking out at boats moored at the marina, Mr Huang says: “There are about 200 yachts here and about 70 per cent will not leave the yacht club. They were bought for face, and then buyers realised they had no use for them.”

Now the market is “more rational”, he says, “people actually want to use their boats.” But there is still a need for businesses to entertain customers. “Customers have a desire for face, they need the interiors to look good.”

Huang Jun, co-founder of Moana Yachts © Berton Chang for the FT

Sales in China are hampered by a 44 per cent tax on imported motor yachts. Domestic manufacturers also pay hefty value added tax and duties on imported parts such as engines.

We want to move [yachting] from being an elite to a middle-class thing

Allen Leng

On top of this tax burden, China lacks superyacht berths. Even for smaller boats, costs in private marinas remain prohibitively high. Chinese property companies rushed to build marinas during the boom, hoping to snap up corporate customers to pay mooring fees up to Rmb1m ($150,000) a year.

But with the downturn, that model has come under strain. The Xiangshan yacht club in the province of Fujian, billed as Asia’s largest, went bankrupt in 2014. Others have cut their prices by as much as half in recent years.

“We need public marinas built by the government,” says Heysea’s Mr Leng, echoing a widespread industry view that China should encourage sailing and its associated tourist trade as part of a drive towards a more consumption-based economy. “The government is paying attention,” he adds. “We want to move [yachting] from being an elite to a middle-class thing.”

There is uncertainty, though, over whether the Communist party will support the yachting sector while the latter retains an association with corrupt elites. “It will never be a mainstream thing,” Mr Leng admits, citing official statistics that there are only a few thousand registered yachts in mainland China.

Government rules that limit to 12 the number of passengers, including staff, are also stifling growth in the charter market. “Patrol boats come to check the numbers. That’s why people buy boats and ship them to Thailand, where they can do anything,” says Mr Wang.

Mike Simpson, a broker based in Hong Kong, says: “Owners are now moving their yachts to Thailand, which is a popular Chinese tourist destination and other parts of Southeast Asia where they may have business interests or a second residence. For some who can afford a larger superyacht, the Mediterranean is an option.”

For now, it appears, the future of Chinese yachting lies largely outside China itself.

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Pathfinder 2200 TRS Being Auctioned to Raise Funds for Hurricane Relief

Maverick Boat Group is teaming with Yamaha, Power Pole and Ameratrail Trailers to raise money for hurricane relief efforts by auctioning a new 2017 fully equipped Pathfinder 2200 TRS.

All sales proceeds from the auction will help those in the fishing community who have been significantly impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The auction is up and running at Maverick’s Boat Auction website — the current bid as of Tuesday, September 26 was $40,000 — and will run through 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 4. The intention is to raise funds quickly and distribute them while the need is highest.

The boat will feature a Yamaha F150XB, 8-foot Signature Series Power Pole, and custom-fitted Ameratrail trailer with aluminum wheels and spare. Additional options include a wheat-colored hull, matching two-tone tan cushions and console, and white powder-coated metal work. The MSRP retail value of the boat is $61,948.

Scott Deal, president and CEO of Maverick Boat Group, said great progress has been made int he cleanup after the storms, but “the economic impacts wrought to many in the fishing community will be long term and felt for months, if not for years, to come.”

He added, “We wanted to find a way to help alleviate some of that burden and appreciate Yamaha, Power Pole, and Ameratrail helping us to maximize our contribution. What’s more, someone is going to get a great boat at an excellent price.”

Call Charlie Johnson, director of marketing, at (772) 465-0631 for more information.

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Everything You Need To Know To Hire, Train And Retain A Killer Sales Team


Hiring is no easy feat (not to mention it’s costly). But hiring for sales and business development puts even more pressure on hiring managers. After all, your salespeople are the ones who will be in the trenches with your customers, representing your company.

Even when you have raw sales talent in the door, they need ongoing training to learn the nuances of your business and stay up-to-date on trends. Once you’ve spent all that time hiring and training, it’s even more critical to retain your sales superstars. If you don’t, you’ll just have to start the whole cycle over again. So how do you do this well?

We’ve compiled a list of hiring, training, and retention tips from the experts of Forbes Business Development Council who’ve been there and done it hundreds of times. Check out the master guide below.

[Bonus: Meet six members of the Council here.]

1. Look for natural curiosity.

Business development can be a demanding and exciting role. It requires a myriad of skill sets, but at the end of the day it boils down to whether the person is passionate about building relationships and whether they have high cognitive and logical reasoning abilities. If I ask you to build a boat, I expect you to ask me what the boat will be used for first.” — Lisa Box, WP Engine, Inc.

Read 6 more qualities to look for in biz dev candidates.

2. Don’t hire a chatterbox.

Often times, sales professionals spend too much time talking instead of listening. Those that get a clearer understanding of a customer’s wants are most successful. A salesperson who only talks is probably going to be mediocre at best. A salesperson who asks questions and investigates their responsibilities is a fact finder, and is most likely to adjust their pitch to the customer’s needs.” — Tracy Avin, MBL Benefits Consulting

Read all 8 hiring red flags to avoid here.

3. Put interviewees on the spot.

Work with the interviewee to understand, at a high level, the last product or service they were responsible for selling. Once you think you’ve got it and understand it, ask them to sell it to you. Have them treat you as a new prospect they’re meeting for the first time, and go for it. Any interviewee that’s made it this far in the process, especially if they’re a superstar, should be able to do this in their sleep.” — Joel LeBendig, CommunityCo

Read the full set of sales interview tips.

4. Measure more than output.

“Even if you’re selling the best product in the world, devaluing the work of the SDR is like putting the cheapest gas in a Maserati. It starts with your data. If your SDRs are being measured too heavily on output alone (calls, emails, etc.) versus more tangible results (handoffs to AEs), they’re not going to have time to do good research.” — Kyle Porter, SalesLoft

Read the full article on how to stop poorly developing your sales team.

5. Incentivize for retention.

“In most industries, the sale is only the first step. In some cases, businesses won’t actually make money until well after the sales team has moved on to other opportunities. Incentivize the team to find healthy revenue by rewarding them if the relationship lasts 12 or 24 months down the line.” — BJ Kito, Digital Surgeons

Read all 7 tips on how to build a winning commission structure.

6. When problems arise, look to leadership first.

“The good news is this: If you have strong leaders, you can change the culture with the right amount of focus, energy and communication. Remember, the culture echoes your leadership team. The first thing you have to decide is if you have the right players in place. Chances are, if you have a poor company culture, you have to make changes within your leadership team immediately. If their team does not trust him or her, this leader will be ineffective and will not be able to gain agreement on the desired outcome.” — Keriann Worley, CBS Radio

Read the full article on shifting your negative team culture.

7. Trust your team. Listen to your numbers.

“As a remote sales leader, you must manage your team without seeing them every week, and provide meaningful guidance and feedback without having face-to-face interactions or personally seeing their work. To do this effectively, trust what your staff members, CRM, and sales data are telling you. Without that trust, there is no way to understand and guide what is going on in each market.  — Josh Pittman, Nutrabolt

Read the full article on managing mobile employees.

Learn more about Forbes Business Development Council and the qualifications for membership here

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Florida Keys seafood industry begins gear recovery after storm

To find the lobster, Florida Keys commercial fishers must first track down gear scattered or destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

“Just like on shore, the underwater has patterns of destruction,” Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said Thursday.

“Some areas have suffered major devastation, really hard hit,” he said. “Other areas are not so bad.”

One large Middle Keys family operation estimates having lost 6,000 traps, Kelly said.

“Guys in the Upper Keys have been looking for their traps and finding them, a mile or two away from where they were dropped on the oceanside ,” Kelly said. “The gear moved but some of it is still there.”

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Small Business: What made the owner of Carolina Paper Guys decide to become an entrepreneur?

Freddy Trevino had been a sales representative for 15 years when he decided to venture out on his own. Trevino, 47, opened Carolina Paper Guys (CPG), a paper distributor, with the help of a business partner in 2012.

“It started with a seed in my head that at some point I was going to be a good enough sales rep that it didn’t matter what I was selling as long as there was a market for it and the product was decent,” said Trevino. “You’d be surprised how often that is true.”

CPG sells items like register rolls (think receipt paper), toilet paper, napkins, cups, branded cups and to-go cups to restaurants, convenience stores and nationally, regionally and locally owned companies.

In five years, CPG has reached between $500,000 and $1 million in sales per year, Trevino said. Trevino has seen more than an annual 30 percent growth in sales and has added two more partners to the business. CPG sources their products from local and regional manufacturers.

“There’s a cost saving that people undervalue,” Trevino said of using locally sourced products. “I feel like it benefits the region better; it benefits our bottom line. It contributes to the story that we want to present to the world.”

Trevino answered CharlotteFive’s questions for the small business series:

What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?

“I could serve this market better than what was currently in place.

“I knew that the cheapest way to get product was to order it online. I presented a strategy that obliterated that. (It) made buying local a better option than buying it online.”

How do leadership skills play a role in running your business?

“I’m going to take a chance with a metaphor: Imagine a bunch of rowers in a boat. The boat represents the business, how fast it goes means how well you’re doing.

“Each rower has an oar, and that oar is representative of the contribution they make to the business, in whatever aspect – sales, logistics, whatever.

“As the leader, it’s imperative that everyone be rowing in the same direction or at the same tempo. An effective leader gets everyone’s oar going in the same direction.” 

Where do you draw the line on taking risks?

“Can I absorb the loss? Every additional line that we bring on is a risk. There are challenges each time.”

How do you build relationships with your clients?

“It’s having the audacity and the courage to meet them at their place of business first.

“I’m borrowing this from a former employer — a fanatical approach to customer service. And it’s not that the customer is always right, it’s that the customer wants sensible resolution.”

What is your dream vacation?

“Any place that has blue water. It’s impossible to mess that up. If you can get to a place where there’s blue ocean water, you’re going to be all right.”


Photos: Freddy Trevino

Family history and my own fascination with people and their motivations prompted me to begin this series about Charlotte’s small business owners. Industry, situation and questions will vary. Have a suggestion for a small business owner or entrepreneur to interview? Email it to with the subject line “Small Business Series.”

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Autumn brings quiet to small town in the Northwoods | Terri Auchter

Up at our cottage in the Northwoods, the lake is calm and a light breeze whispers through the tall pine trees. There is nothing but the lonesome cry of a loon to break the silence.

The ferns which form a lacy lawn in our backyard have turned from lush green to a dull brown and soon will be buried under fallen leaves, not to be seen again until next summer. Unlike this time of year, summer is not quiet.

The high-pitched whine of jet skis; the rumble of engines on pontoon boats; the loud shrieks of children as they zip by on inflated rafts pulled behind a motor boat; these are the sounds of summer.

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But autumn is quiet. Boats have been stored away. Children are back in school. The main street of our small downtown is almost deserted. The summer folks are gone.

The ice cream shop, which was so crowded on hot summer days that customers spilled outside the store and sat at tables under umbrellas to eat their ice cream, is empty now.

A sign hangs in the window: “Thanks for a great season!” I’m sure the ice cream shop will reopen. But many of these businesses will not reopen.

Winter lasts long in the Northwoods and autumn is sometimes chased away early by snow. The shopkeepers and restaurant owners have a hard time making a living during winter.

Each spring “for sale” signs sprout up along with the daffodils. A few stores will be sold to some budding entrepreneurs who hope they can do enough business in summer to survive the slow sales in winter. But some will never open.

We used to have a Dairy Queen. It’s been vacant for two years. The hot dog place was sold and reopened as a bar and grill. That lasted six months. One vacant store has a sign that says a bakery will be opening soon. The sign has hung on the front window for several months.

Some dreams of success have turned to nightmares. A few places are thriving. We have two restaurants, a motel, two diners, a winery, a hardware store, a liquor store (though it’s for sale), three gift shops and a pharmacy.

On a recent fall day, I walked the three blocks of downtown and hoped no more “for sale” signs would be posted in shop windows. As I walk, my footsteps echo on the sidewalk. It is autumn. It is quiet.

Terri Auchter is a Neenah resident. She can be reached at Auchter’s book of selected writings and recipes, “Just Between Us” is being sold at Thos. Lyons Fine Books, 124 W. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah. $10. Proceeds benefit local food pantries.

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